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STORM TOPPLE EAGLES AT SHOWCASE

At the next Alberta Junior Hockey League meeting, the Grande Prairie Storm might want to consider requesting a Showcase Weekend be held several times a year.

Saturday afternoon at Showcase VI in Spruce Grove, the Storm dumped the Canmore Eagles 7-1 to run their Showcase record to 9-2.

Heading into the third period the Storm were in control at 3-1, but completely took control of the game thanks in large part to a nine-minute powerplay.

After Storm defenceman Sasha Larocque stood up Eagles captain Riley Point at the Canmore blueline, Eagles forward Nils Moser decided to take things into his own hands and attacked Larocque.

The result was a five minute major, two minute instigator and two minute cross checking penalty – and the seldom-seen nine minute powerplay.
The Storm scored three goals while Moser was cooling his heels.

Scott Milnthorp made it 4-1 at 1:20, Ryan Matthews upped it to 5-1 at 2:27 and Mike Forsyth, with his first goal in his first game with the Storm, spread the margin to 6-1 at 8:14.

And to add insult to injury, Storm defenceman Jeremy Barriault’s blueline wrist shot found its way through at 19:18 to round out the scoring and give the Storm their most lopsided win of the season and the most lopsided victory at Showcase so far.

“Our game was pretty crisp,” said Storm coach/general manager Blaine Bablitz. “We had contributions from every guy.”

To say the special teams were clicking is an understatement for the Storm. They had four powerplay goals and a shorthanded tally
Tanner Labbe, on a two-on-one, made it 3-1 in the second on a shorthanded goal. He held the puck using his teammate as a decoy and lifted a shot over Canmore netminder Cam Barnes at 17:30.

“The Labbe shorthanded goal turned the tide,” said Bablitz, who was hoping his team would kill a penalty to keep the one-goal deficit, but ended up patting Labbe on the back for his great effort that put the Storm back up by two at an important time of the game.

The Eagles, on a powerplay, had narrowed it to 2-1 at 11:28 when Jordan Revie scored.

In the first the Storm took a 2-0 lead on goals by Ryan Matthews just 49 seconds in and Labbe at 9:40 on the powerplay. Gus Correale earned an assist on the Matthews goal to extend is point streak to seven games. He has at least one point in every Storm game this year.

Nick Kulmanovsky got the start in the Storm net and faced 26 shots while Barnes looked at 31.

Showcase continues for the Storm on Saturday when they take on the Calgary Canucks at 1:30 p.m.

Next weekend the team heads back home for a pair – Friday against the Drumheller Dragons and Saturday against the Okotoks Oilers. Both games are 7:30 p.m. starts in the Canada Games Arena.